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New shared Code of Conduct for allied health practitioners

Insurance Law & Litigation
A physiotherapist or chiropractor treating a patient with the use of hand weights.

AHPRA has published a revised shared Code of Conduct for allied health practitioners that comes into effect on 29 June 2022.

Code of Conduct

The shared Code of Conduct applies to registered practitioners in 12 professions and sets out the National Boards' expectations for professional behaviour and conduct for the practitioners in those professions.

The shared Code of Conduct was developed for the purpose of protecting the public and is used by the relevant national Boards to evaluate practitioner conduct. Practitioners have a professional obligation to be familiar with and apply the shared Code of Conduct.

Applicable professions

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice
  • Optometry
  • Chinese medicine
  • Osteopathy
  • Chiropractic
  • Paramedicine
  • Dental
  • Pharmacy
  • Medical radiation practice
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Podiatry

The shared Code of Conduct does not apply to the Medical Board of Australia, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, or the Psychology Board of Australia. These professions have individualised codes of conduct and/or codes of ethics which practitioners must follow.

Highlights

Highlights from the shared Code of Conduct include the following.

  1. Eleven overarching principles that set out the National Boards' expectations of the practitioners they regulate. These include expectations in relation to working with patients, working with other practitioners, and maintaining practitioner health and wellbeing.
  2. A new section on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and cultural safety, which requires practitioners to consider the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  3. Further information for practitioners in relation to their obligations to respond to discrimination, bullying and harassment. This includes defining these terms for the purpose of the Code.
  4. Further information for employers about the use of performance targets for employees and other business practices.
  5. The introduction of an express obligation that good practice involves an understanding of the importance of immunisations against communicable diseases and to take appropriate precautions against the spread of such diseases.

Key takeaways

Practitioners must comply with the shared Code of Conduct from 29 June 2022. It is important that practitioners review the shared Code of Conduct to ensure they have a detailed understanding of their professional obligations.

Additionally, they must take steps to implement policies, procedures and practices that are consistent with the shared Code of Conduct.

For more information on what the revised shared Code of Conduct means for allied health practitioners, please contact a member of our team.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash.

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.

Key contacts

Amanda Seguna

Special Counsel

Laura Silburn

Laura Silburn

Lawyer